McGrath suffers new injury scare
"He will continue to be treated and assessed," Eroll Alcott, Australia's physiotherapist said, "and a further update on his fitness will be provided in due course." McGrath was said by sources close to the team to be responding to treatment and Ricky Ponting was reported to be confident that he would be fit to lead Australia's attack.
McGrath missed the second Test at Edgbaston with an ankle injury after treading on a stray cricket ball, and though he was passed fit ahead of the third match at Old Trafford, he was not at his incisive best. However, with the series tied at one apiece, McGrath's absence would be a huge blow to Australia after Shaun Tait was named to replace Jason Gillespie, his South Australia team-mate, and make his debut tomorrow.
Tait's promotion ahead of Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz, who remain in contention after McGrath's scare, was confirmed during a fiery net session at Trent Bridge when he discomforted team-mates and hit Justin Langer in the groin. Kasprowicz was expected to be the first-choice replacement, but Australia have decided to risk Tait, 22, in their bid to retain the Ashes.
Jeff Thomson tipped Tait for the fourth Test and said the side deserved a "rocket". "Not just the bowlers but the batsmen as well," he told the Courier-Mail. "For the first time in a long time they have had bowlers good enough to stick it up them and they don't like it. The bloke [Tait] took 65 wickets in Pura Cup cricket last year. He can obviously bowl and that's all that matters."